**Toledo, OH (February 6, 2007)** – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a formal complaint and agreed to prosecute the United Auto Workers (UAW) union for a campaign of harassment and intimidation aimed at nurses seeking an election to vote the union out at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.
The complaint stems from unfair labor practice charges filed by St. Vincent nurse Amy Anderson in July 2006 with help from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys. Anderson’s charges detailed a bullying campaign by UAW union officials as she and others sought to collect signatures from their co-workers to throw the unwanted union out of their workplace.
The NLRB complaint against the UAW union and its Local 12 lists numerous examples of union agents physically intimidating nurses, including “following, surrounding, and impeding access to employees.” The complaint also cites that in one instance a union official physically “struck a clipboard containing the petition” from one of the nurse’s hands.
The NLRB complaint also alleges that UAW officials unlawfully intimidated nurses by such acts as recording their license plate numbers. The related harassment took place at and around the medical center, not only in the parking lots, but even in the cafeteria and bathrooms.
“UAW union officials have unleashed a shameless bullying campaign on St. Vincent nurses to keep the mandatory dues flowing in,” said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. “Given such hostility for the rights of the very rank-and-file nurses that UAW officials claim to ‘represent,’ it comes as no surprise that many nurses are leading the effort to show them the door.”
Despite union officials’ organized campaign of unlawful intimidation, the nurses were ultimately able to collect signatures from 30 percent of employees – the minimum necessary to trigger an NLRB supervised decertification election. Once the signatures are certified by NLRB Region 8 in Cleveland, the Board will hold a secret ballot election through which the health care professionals can rid their workplace of the abusive union.
Tired of union officials’ mistreatment, a group of nurses formed “Nurses For A Union-Free St. Vincent’s” (www.NursesKnowTheTruth.bravehost.com) with the goal of decertifying the unwanted automotive union. The NLRB has scheduled an April 24, 2007, hearing before an administrative law judge to prosecute the UAW union.
In April 2006, Foundation attorneys helped four nurses from St. Vincent’s file related federal charges with the NLRB against the UAW union and its Toledo Local 12 for violating their rights under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court decision *Communications Workers v. Beck*. Under *Beck* and related rulings, union officials must inform workers of their right to refrain from formal union membership and from paying for activities unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union political activities.